The Pentagon’s inspector general found that a former Air Force Academy boss hindered an investigation into athlete misconduct, including drug use and sexual assault, by shielding football coach Troy Calhoun from questioning but determined that the issue didn’t rise to the level of “impeding the investigation.”
While critical of former Superintendent Lt Gen Mike Gould, the 32-page report obtained by The Gazette on Friday cleared the academy on allegations of special treatment for a football player suspected of drug use and an officer’s interference in a sexual assault case.
The report is also critical of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, an independent agency that probes misconduct across the service. OSI agents at the academy, the report says, didn’t document allegations of command interference in investigations and didn’t insist on quizzing Calhoun.
“We determined that AFOSI special agents and leadership did not document in the investigative case files their communications about the proposed interview or the reason they did not interview the USAFA head football coach.”
In interviews with investigators, Gould denied he hampered OSI efforts.
“I, in no way, did anything to impede their investigation, or to slow it down, or anything else,” Gould said. “I don’t know what else to tell you.”
The finding that Gould didn’t “impede” the investigation essentially clears him of regulatory violations. A Department of Defense rule says a commander “shall not impede or interfere with investigations or investigative techniques deemed appropriate” by investigators.
Former Air Force chief prosecutor Col Don Christensen, now president of the military sexual assault advocacy group Protect Our Defenders, said the absence of punishment for the general is cause for concern.
“It is something that borders on criminal misconduct as far as I’m concerned,” Christensen said.
Gould didn’t respond to an email seeking comment.
The report was initiated after a 2014 Gazette investigation.
At parties dating back to 2010, a group of cadets who included some football players smoked synthetic marijuana, drank themselves sick and may have used date-rape drugs to incapacitate women for sexual assault, documents obtained by The Gazette showed.